It took a Vernon musician to stop a clean sweep by a certain Salmon Arm soul machine at Saturday’s B.C. Interior Music Awards in Kelowna.
Andrew Allen picked up Single of the Year for his hit Loving You Tonight (which recently reached No. 36 on the U.S. Top Adult Contemporary music charts), beating out Greg Sczebel and Kelowna’s Leah West.
He was also recognized with the 2011 Special Achievement Award.
The Epic Records signed artist appeared at the awards show via video from Chicago, where he has been continuing on his radio promotional tour across the States.
“It’s moments like these that I truly feel honoured to be recognized by the community I’m from for the achievements I’ve accomplished up to this point,” said Allen, who emailed The Morning Star from Baltimore Tuesday. “My family and my friends have been so supportive, as well as all the people that have simply loved the music! I feel stoked to be able to represent such a wonderful place while touring in the U.S., and I’m looking forward to getting back to perform.”
Sczebel, who won a Juno for Christian/Gospel Album of the Year last month, took home eight of the nine BCIMAs he was nominated for including Album of the Year (for Love & the Lack Thereof) and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. He was also picked up to perform at this year’s Rarearth Music Festival, taking place atop Silver Star Mountain July 23 and 24.
Nominated in two of the same categories as Sczebel was Vernon’s Jodi Pederson, who couldn’t make the ceremony as she is currently in Australia.
“It was an honour for her to be in same category as Greg Sczebel,” said her mother Helma Pederson, who kept her daughter informed about the evening’s progression via text. “She’s learned a lot from this, and for her to get three nominations (including People’s Choice, which went to West) was a big step.”
Expected to tour around B.C. in July, including an appearance at Vernon’s Canada Day celebrations, Pederson is also heading back to Toronto to record her second CD with Lenz Entertainment. She first performs in a concert, along with her former guitar teacher Chris Madsen, May 13 at Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre in aid of the Women’s Centre.
Madsen also had a successful night picking up the BCIMA award for Best Instrumental Recording of the Year for his album Song of the Troubadour.
“This is the second time I have received the award which makes it beyond amazingly wonderful to be so highly accepted in light of the huge talent base drawn from,” he said.
The awards night also featured some familiar faces on stage, including local rock goddess Darby Mills, who joined Tim Reardon and Brad Krauza of the Young ‘uns in a lively performance of The Headpins’ classic Turn it Loud, and later was backed by students of Wentworth Music for Don’t it Make Ya Feel.
Also on stage was nominee for New Artist of the Year, 17-year-old Kate Morgan of Kamloops, who started as a solo artist when she was 14, and has been playing with her band since moving to Vancouver last year.
The Kate Morgan Band had a breakthrough when they performed at last’s year’s Lilith Fair in Calgary with the likes of Sarah McLachlan and Sheryl Crow.
“Sheryl made a comment that we were the tallest band she’d ever met,” said keyboardist Dasha Duquette in the Green Room before the awards began.
Besides winning at the 2010 International Songwriting Competition for two songs, Lovin’ You, which Morgan co-wrote with Duquette, and Energy, the group also showcased at last year’s Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, and plan to perform at the Western Canada Games, which will take place in Kamloops in August.
“We wrote the theme for it,” said Morgan. “Our focus on the next six months will be on our sound, writing material, and recording new stuff which we hope to have out in the summer… The best part of all this has been playing live as a band. Being together has solidified our sound.”
Another Vernon artist present at the awards show, Julian Wolansky, AKA Immaculate, was nominated for Best DVD/Video for his song Camaraderie, featuring fellow hip hop artist Furthermore.
The award ended up going to, surprise, Sczebel.
Immaculate has not only been gaining attention with his latest CD, My Tall Shadow (produced by Vernon’s Eric Lowry), he has two new recording projects on the go, one with Lowry and the other with Kelowna artist Rephraze.
A graduate of Okanagan College’s sound engineering program, Wolansky worked as a sound technician during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and it was there where he met Paul Macharia, a film student from Kenya.
Macharia ended up coming up to Vernon to film Camaraderie, with most of the footage shot at Kal Lake. (You can watch the video on YouTube.)
“We went on a road trip to California along the Oregon Coast,” said Wolansky, explaining how the song came to be. “I got the instrumental from Lowry, and we recorded the song in a weight room in San Francisco.”
Wolansky has also been doing sound tech work at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, and is about to perform on the Rock 4 MS tour, with headliner, Salmon Arm’s Amie Laws. The nine-city, 11-day tour arrives at Vernon’s Sneakers Sports Bar May 27, then travels to Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong May 30, before hitting Enderby’s Cliffs Café May 31, with proceeds going to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
Next year’s BCIMAs will also see a change, and will now welcome the whole province to celebrate the B.C. Indie Awards, said awards co-producer Mark Greenhalgh.
For more information on who won this year, visit www.bcima.org.